With Nokia’s massive debut with Windows Phone in Australia – and the topic of updates once again becoming topical – WPDownUnder thought it worthwhile to pause for a minute and provide some broad perspective to newer WP7 customers. As we reflected on this weeks editorial on Nokia’s imminent 12070 firmware update, enthusiasts here can be quick to hit social media with concerns over the pace and availability of software updates. Spare a moment for our poor US colleagues – on the premium carrier ATT. A premiere launch partner of Microsoft, ATT are the largest carrier in the States, and have carried the biggest and broadest range of Windows Phones. So how are they doing supporting existing customers?
Epic Fail, in a two-word summary.
Following on from a long thread of complaints, critical feedback and emotional engagement from US-based ATT Windows Phone customers, ATT have finally stated their position on the 8107 WP7 bugfix update. They will NOT be deploying it to their customers!!! This update, released by Microsoft for Windows Phone in JAN 2012 – was deployed for most handsets in Australia by the Aussie Telcos by February. It contains numerous OS bugfixes (most noticeably the disappearing keyboard issue).
Here’s ATT’s full reply from a few moments ago:
This makes 2 consecutive updates that ATT have chosen not to deploy (7740 and 8107) – which in 2011 would have been against the agreed Microsoft/Carrier arrangement of Carriers only being able to miss 1 update before having to catch up with the next. As reported on Winsupersite, along with the dropping of the Microsoft managed “Where’s my Update” page which publicly compared Carriers and helped keep them accountable, MS also appear to have had to compromise on this update policy (report).
With no known other interim OS/OEM updates prior to the imminent Tango release, this would appear to be an appalling abandonment of Gen1 and Gen2 Windows Phone customers, and the reported Microsoft reply to one outraged US ATT customer seems to reflect a complete lack of influence or authority in the relationship between Redmond and their premiere US-based carrier.
“As stated in your inquiry the 8107 (7.10.8107.79) update has not been made available for the AT&T LG Windows Phone in the U.S. Our engineering team has developed a fix and it has been delivered to our carrier partners. We are not able to speak for the carriers; however, we have made the update available and they are currently assessing it. We are unable to provide any dates or timeframes for the update release and it is up to the carrier to determine if they want to provide the update to their users.
I am very sorry we were not able to provide you with the outcome you were seeking. You are a valued customer and we look forward to providing you with a more positive experience should you require assistance in the future. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any additional questions as it relates to this case by selecting “reply all” to this message and I will be more than happy to assist.
(Advocacy Specialist, Customer and Partner Advocacy – North America VOLT @ Microsoft Corporation)” Link
With reports emerging that Nokia are paying tens of millions of dollars to have the Nokia Lumia 900 exclusively used by key retail staff for ATT across the US – let’s hope that Nokia have picked up on ATT’s poor history of supporting updates to Windows Phone – and written in some commitments from them for the life of their devices. This latest issue comes on the back of the biggest selling Gen1 WP7 device, the Samsung Focus, being EOL’d (end of lifed) by ATT with no Tethering updates for example. However with Nokia trying to get back to a position of strength in the US, concerns must exist over the balance of power in the relationship.
If one thing is certain – it would seem ATT do what THEY want…..and that is push new devices for new sales. Servicing their existing customers seems to be the last thing on their mind!
We Aussies should think on this before we get too concerned over a couples of weeks delay in new device firmware updates! We are certainly the Lucky Country by comparison…
PS – make sure you check all the Update Status for the US on WPDownUnder’s own “Where’s my Freakin’ Update page” – click the picture below, with the home for the NZ and Aussie Update table also from here.